2015 Montesco Parral Red Blend
Argentina is in the midst of a wine revolution. Yes, they are still making those bold Malbecs that we love. But, whether for commercial or creative reasons, winemakers are also exploring new lands, new grape varieties, and new winemaking techniques, oftentimes with extraordinary results.
One such pioneer is Matias Michelini, aka “Green Michelini.” Matias is one of three brothers who run the winery Zorzal in Mendoza. There they make Malbec and Cabernet in the modern style. But while Matias may be the most soft-spoken of the three, he is by for the most revolutionary.
Through my research into Matias, I think the old adage, “nothing ventured, nothing gained” sums up the underpinning of his wine philosophy. At his personal winery, all of the wines are biodynamic, with experiments in fermentation, vinification, and aging as an ongoing process.
Now all this experimentation might cause some of you to run for the hills. And I understand. Plunging into the category of biodynamic experimental wines can yield as many misses as hits. But here, with this red blend, I think he solidly nails it. And I’m not the only one. As Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate notes, this wine will “blow your mind and reconfigure your perspective towards Argentinean wine:”
A blend of 40% Malbec, 30% Cabernet and 30% Bonarda, the wine opens with a dark cherry nose that dips gently into aromas of fig and plum sauce. The Bonarda lends a touch of earthiness to the palate, while the Cabernet compliments with a graphite note. The palate is rounded on the entry, delivering a firm and sophisticated fruit compliment, but also pulling through on the finish with vigor, cut and definition. At 13.5% alcohol, this wine is both engaging as a cocktail, and as a perfect segue to the parrilla, with aromas of grilled steak filling the air. And served generously enough to a significant other, maybe a little tango will follow.
Indeed, if I was to put my palate on this blind, I would guess a powerful Graves Bordeaux from a warmer vintage like 2011 – the earthy power married with pure fruit and sophisticated savory notes will, I truly believe, “blow your mind and reconfigure your perspective towards Argentinean wine.”
Good wine is where you find it, and this one is not to be missed. We got it at a heck of a discount, but not in strong supply. When it’s gone, it’s long gone.